In our series, The Digitize Diaries, people making more than $250,000, completely online, open up about how they got there and what exactly they did to achieve it. We take a closer look at what it feels like to make well into six-figures online — when less than 2% of Americans make that much at all, according to the U.S. Census — with the hope it will give insights into how to better navigate modern day work-life options using the Internet.
We chatted with Josh, an HR manager from Los Angeles who is now using his human resource management background online that allows him the income and life balance (i.e. surfing 4x/week) that he’s always sought.
Education: B.A. economics
Occupation: Manager, Human Resources
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Income before/after: $92,000/$330,000
What drew you to human resources?
“I started out in HR by transferring into it from a support role in management I had a few years back. They needed someone with experience, but my role on the management side was involved in many aspects of growing the team so I worked with the HR group a lot. An official opening came up and I applied and got the job.”
What do you like about HR?
“I really like that it’s changing. HR used to be thought of as a ‘support role’ in companies. Today, hiring is super competitive and working to get the best of the best and retaining them in your company is a challenge. I love that challenge and have a real knack for putting the right person in the right role. When it works, it’s awesome. When it doesn’t you can learn from it and move on.”
What made you look for something else?
“I love the HR world, but wow did I hate the travel. The company I worked for had satellite offices all over the United States so I was on the road a lot. I hated that. Part of growing up in LA was the fact that you can surf, which I love to do. I found myself never surfing anymore. Being away from home was tough. I was making good money, but the travel grind, meetings, conference calls, all of the emails began to drain me emotionally and physically.”
When did you discover the online world?
“Last summer I came across Digitize University from an ad online. The idea of taking my knowledge and digitizing it online was super appealing. So I signed up for the free workshop they offer. After that workshop, I just knew I could learn this and maybe it would be something I could do to offset my income at worst, but at best, maybe it was something I could do full time.”
How did you make the digital move?
“As I immersed myself in the course, I realized that what I was really good at was finding, hiring and working with millennials in the workforce. I also know that this is a challenge for many many companies, so what I created was an online program to help businesses of all sizes do exactly that: target, hire and retain millennials. It was a real hit.”
How did you get your first customers?
“I worked a lot in LinkedIn for my job, so I did some some promotion there. The DigitzeU course showed me things within LinkedIn that I didn’t even know how to do which was great. I also started targeting my prospects on Facebook and via Google. All of the training I got from DigitizeU was instrumental. It wasn’t hard, but I needed to know what to do and what to avoid. I was getting my first customers within the first month. I’ve been growing this online ever since and now am earning over $6,000-$7,500 each week!”
Did you have any fears or roadblocks as you started?
“I thought there was going to be a lot of technical stuff I had to learn. But the course shows you how simple it is today. I mean, I worked with people directly by phone, in person, etc. I’m not very tech savvy outside of using Google, Outlook and some social media. Actually, the tech parts are so easy today and the process to leverage them is way easier than I thought. As they say in the course, ‘if you can binge watch Netflix, you can do the tech stuff already.’ That was true.”
So, how has your life changed since digitizing your experience in HR?
“First off, the travel is GONE! I can’t tell you how good that is. Also, I’m no longer tied to my emails, text messages, conference calls, Slack messages, etc. I feel so rejuvenated in both my work and my life. The income is also just amazing. Like I said, I did OK financially before, but now, I want to bank what I can so I can retire before I’m 48. That was something I wasn’t even thinking about a year ago! Also, the surfing has resumed as well! I go to Venice at least 4 days a week in the morning to surf before I head home and go online. If you’re in Venice, you can probably find me at Menotti’s Coffee Stop! Like I said, I love what I do in HR, but I’m grateful for what I learned from day one when I took the Digitize workshop to show me what was possible going online.”
What advice would you give someone today looking to take their experience online?
“Step one, attend the free workshop and check it out. I think you’ll be amazed at what simple key things you need to learn that will absolutely change your life. It’s a commitment. It’s simple but you need to follow the steps. But hey, anything is easier than the work-life I led 9-5. You won’t have any regrets. I know I don’t.”